why do newer models charge less quickly?

Will Tesla have trouble fast charging the Model 3 and Model Y? This is what we will see in this file, which summarizes the differences in terms of charging from the first electric cars of the brand to the latest.

Ionic on the right, Tesla Supercharger on the left // Source: Bob JOUY for Frandroid

Tesla’s electric cars are among the champions of fast charging, but not for the reasons one might imagine. Indeed, given the sheer average power of a classic 30-minute charge, they’re far from impressing the Kia EV6 or other Hyundai Ioniq 5s of this world.

Fortunately, their efficiency (relatively low consumption) allows them to make fast long journeys, where the charging intervals do not need to be increased compared to other cars that charge faster but consume more. However, a fairly new phenomenon has been happening for several years: Tesla is charging slower and slower.

We will return to this topic in detail, trying to provide some answers as to why the new Teslas cannot charge as quickly as the old ones.

Superfast Supercharging promises

Tesla is famous for its network of fast chargers: Superchargers. With an announced charging capacity of 250 kW per terminal, Superchargers represent for many a guarantee of hassle-free travel in Europe. On the Tesla website, they are also highlighted as a great advantage of vehiclesas seen in the Tesla Model Y illustration below.

Tesla Model Y Supercharge // Source: Tesla

Thus, the maximum charging power is shown to be 250 kW, and thisA 15-minute charge increases the range to 275 kilometers. In practice, we have already put these figures against reality during our Tesla Model Y Grande Autonomie or Tesla Model Y Performance tests, and we should not take Tesla’s announcements literally.

First of all, if 250 kW is indeed theoretically achievable in the Tesla Model Y Performance or Long Autonomy, this is not the case in the Tesla Model Y Propulsion, which is limited to a maximum of 170 kW. Also, the advertised range of 275 kilometers on a 15-minute charge is for the Tesla Model 3, not the Tesla Model Y’s advertised range of 241 kilometers on a 15-minute charge.

In addition, this estimate of the number of kilometers charged in 15 minutes must of course be taken in the sense of the WLTP mixed consumption cycle, not the actual kilometers traveled. Indeed, after 15 minutes of Supercharge and under perfect conditions, a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y will have charged approximately 35 kWh of energy. It was announced that the land route is at most 170 kilometers, rather far from 275 kilometers.

As we mentioned in our file on the fastest charging vehicles, the Tesla averages about 100 kW of charging power at 10-80% load, which is a far cry from the 250 kW specified as the maximum power allowed. . Therefore, it is important to consider this No matter how fast Supercharge promises, it doesn’t reflect reality.

The fastest are the oldest

Teslas are known as computers on wheels that benefit from frequent updates aimed at improving the user experience. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily apply to all components of the car, as the disappearance of the radar or ultrasonic sensors of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y still reminds us recently.

This counter-intuitive observation also applies to charging speed because the fastest charging Teslas are not the newest. We especially highlighted this when testing the Tesla Model Y Long Range in 2021, when it was charging slower than the older Tesla Model 3 Long Range from 2019.

Differences between 2019 Tesla Model 3 and 2021 Model Y on Supercharge // Source: Bob JOUY for Frandroid

In practice, it is Up to 35% longer charging time for the new Tesla Model 3 or Model Y for a typical charging session compared to another similar car produced in 2019, about four years ago. This loss in charging speed makes the advantage of the fastest chargers less important in the new Tesla, with little difference between the V2 Supercharger (up to 150 kW) or the V3 Supercharger (limited to 250 kW).

For example, under ideal conditions We added 28% battery with Tesla Model Y Performance on a terminal limited to 150 kW for 10 minutes and 30% battery on a terminal limited to 250 kW. The lack of this significant difference seems surprising, even as Tesla deploys more and more V3 Superchargers, but as we’ll see, there are certainly reasons to explain the regressions in charging speed of the new battery packs.

Let’s take this opportunity to remind you that the advantage of Superchargers v3 can be found elsewhere. They do not share their maximum capacity between them, and therefore it is possible to charge at the highest capacity at each terminal, even if the station is full of refueling electric vehicles. Unlike the v2 Superchargers which share their powers.

In practice, A 10 to 80% charge takes about 25 to 30 minutes in new Teslas. In detail, the biggest reduction is in the 10-60% range, dropping from 15 to 20 minutes on the latest models. Going from 60% to 80% takes about the same time, 10 minutes, in different versions.

A supply problem requiring adaptation

Until 2020, Tesla’s production volume allowed it to buy batteries from a single supplier, namely Panasonic. The manufacturer’s rise to fame prompted him to apply so that different battery manufacturers can equip all their cars. Thus, the industrial giant LG became one of the first companies to respond to the requirements of Elon Musk’s firm, and since 2020, it has been producing batteries for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.

More recently, Chinese manufacturer CATL has also become a supplier of Tesla’s Fast versions, particularly its Model 3 and Model Y, which are fast becoming the most-produced variants.

As soon as LG batteries arrive on board the 2020 and 2021 Tesla Model 3, Customers are starting to see faster charging powers that are lower than before. It appears that Tesla adopted batteries that were less efficient than the older Panasonic batteries at the time in order to deliver enough cars that year.

Indeed, it is likely that Tesla’s requirements would have to be lowered, otherwise there would not be enough batteries supplied by Panasonic alone to power the entire production of Elon’s firm.Musk. However, Tesla’s strength is in remotely updating its fleet of vehicles, specifically monitoring the charging curve once enough data has been collected.

Therefore months later, the peak charge capacity of the 2021 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y LG battery packs has been increased.. That’s why Tesla launched the cars with new batteries and increased the charging capacity after a few months after collecting enough data to ensure the reliability of the cells. This policy may be available at Tesla as long as supply issues continue.

This strategy allows the American manufacturer to meet strong consumer demand while delivering them a vehicle that meets original specifications, meaning it fills up quickly… without really giving out more numbers.exact.

Is this a fixable problem?

Since the introduction of batteries by several vendors in 2020, little has changed to the point where the fastest charging vehicles remain the oldest as of 2019. Right now , Tesla has many different battery models in its lineup to have the resources to optimize each charging profile..

This is why we now find the same charging profiles for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y’s different batteries, and no longer have specific optimizations for each as released. The Tesla Model S and Model X took longer to see an improvement in Supercharge power.

In effect, The European Tesla Model S and Model X, released since 2020, have only been charged with a maximum of 150 kW until the end of summer 2022., where an update finally allowed them to use a higher charging power. The same cars delivered to the United States can be fully charged from the start, indicating that addressing these concerns is not among Tesla’s priorities.

Tesla Model S on Supercharge // Source: Bob Jouy for Frandroid

In the days when Tesla only had one battery model to manage, things were much simpler: the fast charge profile was perfectly calibrated for the battery in question and applied to the entire range. It also fit the era when Tesla had no room for error.and to gain recognition he had to gain a client.

But now demand outstrips supply, Tesla may lower its requirements to deliver more cars each quarter. Moreover, this regression in the speed of Supercharging, which is only affected during long journeys and does not panic customers with an increase in charging time of several minutes.

We estimate that we lost about fifteen minutes for a journey of 800 kilometers roughly between a car with a 2019 battery and a car with a 2022 battery. This is quite trivial Tesla decided to solve the problem urgently. Moreover, despite its lower charging capacity than the competition, Tesla’s efficiency makes them among the fastest vehicles to hit the roadeven in the face of manufacturers that have chosen 800-volt architectures, such as the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Porsche Taycan.

Finally, the future arrival of Tesla’s revolutionary batteries in the 4680 format could signal a new beginning for the firm, which reaffirms its dominance in the field of fast charging if the perceived powers increase significantly. But today’s Teslas charge less quickly than yesterday’s.

All about the new Tesla batteries: range, charging speed, costs

Two years after its introduction, Tesla’s 4680-format cells begin to be integrated into the cars of the American manufacturer. Who makes them, what is the benefit to the customer and why…
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